Wrapping up Metro Detroit's summer, CDC travel advice for Labor Day, hundreds protest Oakland County mask rule

When we keep meteorological records we try to make it easy. Or perhaps "consistent" is a better word. 

In order to do this, we track "Summer" from June 1st through August 31st as opposed to the June 20th through September 22nd that the calendar tells you.  

That all said, the "Meteorological Summer" just ended! So... let's dig into how it all went.

Most people have a memory that this summer was hot, humid, and wet. It was. Not only that, but it was historically hot, humid, and wet!  

The average temperature for the season was 74.2 degrees (if you add the daily high and low and divide by 2) which is tied for the 9th hottest summer of all time!  

But it's not *just* that it was hot, it was that it stayed hot for many prolonged stretches of time. 

If you consider a heatwave three days or more of extreme temperatures then by my calculation we had nine different heatwaves this summer!

On top of that, it's been wet! Total rainfall from June 1 - August 31 was 15.28 inches of rain which is 53% more rain than normal!  

Normally, we average about 3.3 inches each month, but we saw so much more. So much in fact that this summer is now historically the 7th wettest summer ever in Metro Detroit.  

The most recent summer that was this wet was 2013 but before that, we hadn't been this wet since the 80s. Wow!

To add to the craziness of summer 2021 was the amount of severe weather. We had 127 severe weather warnings (13 of those being Tornado Warnings). 

That is 2.5 times more than last year and the highest amount in the record database that extends back to 2005 (only 2007 is close to this year's quantity at 124 warnings).

So we have the 9th hottest summer ever, the 7th wettest summer ever. The most severe weather warnings in nearly 20 years.  

Summer of 2021 was one to remember. Good riddance!

CDC advises unvaccinated people shouldn't travel for holiday

Still not vaccinated against COVID-19? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is advising against travel for any who have yet to get the shot. The public health agency's director made the recommendation Tuesday over worries about a post-holiday bounce in infections.

Another round of cases could jeopardize progress in states still fighting to get their worst surge to date. At least 160,000 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed yesterday while as many as 137 million are expected to travel over Labor Day weekend.

In Michigan, even with close to 65% of the state vaccinated, most of the largest counties fall under the most severe infection rate. The state's 7-day average sits at around 1,925, as of Sept. 1. Health experts have forecasted the state's next surge to peak at around the end of September or the beginning of October.

But for those that intend to travel anyway and have decided against getting the vaccine, there are a few precautions to keep in mind:

  • Get tested 1-3 days before travel
  • Get tested 3-5 days after travel and self-quarantine for 7 days. People should quarantine for 10 days if you don't get tested
  • Monitor for symptoms
  • Wear a mask and take other precautions during travel

Protesters gather by the hundreds to argue against Oakland County's mask mandate

The combustion from Oakland County's mask mandate fallout continued to ignite Thursday evening when protesting parents congregated at the county's Board of Commissioners meeting in Pontiac to make their anger felt.

The county made the hard decision easy for school boards last week when it ordered all districts to enforce mask-wearing for students. Until the county's infection rate drops from the CDC's substantial rate to moderate, the mask order will be in place.

But during the Board's meeting, hundreds railed against the new rule, arguing falsely that masks don't prevent the virus from spreading. One parent was worried their kid, who has asthma, might get severe allergies from the mask. Capacity limits kept many from entering the building.

Republican commissioners have put forth a resolution asking Executive Dave Coulter and the health department to reconsider the mask mandate. "The health order has to do with the CDC ranking in Oakland County and if you look at the data from the CDC, about 95 percent of the country is in the high-ranking," Coulter replied. Dave Woodward echoed that sentiment while the GOP mentioned some sidebar conversations about a compromise. 

Roosevelt Park gets redesign that connects Michigan Central Station to neighborhoods

As Michigan Central Station undergoes renovations, a park in front of it is getting a makeover as well. Right now, Roosevelt Park has streets that run through it. That will soon change. "We’re going to be moving the streets here in the middle to open the park up and make it a more park-like setting, and also to allow for a better flow of traffic," Brad Dick said, director of Detroit's General Services.

Results from the Greater Corktown Neighborhood Planning Framework recommended a single, unified space without any roads going through it. Beginning next Tuesday, the Vernor overpass will be closed for about six weeks while work is done.

"We are also going to be reconstructing, Rebuilding, and reimagining what the Vernor viaduct is going to look like in the future it will be a walkable gateway to Michigan Central and a connection between the neighborhoods," said James Courtney, the community engagement lead for Ford Motor Company Michigan Central Development.

The project will hopefully connect both Corktown and Mexicantown. Ford released a plan last year that included more public amenities, green spaces, walking and biking trails, public art, and open areas. A key goal is to have amenities, including stores and a daycare, all within a 20-minute walk.

If Roe goes, what happens in Michigan?

The Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision to let a Texas ban on most abortions remain in force — at least for now — prompted warnings and cheers from advocates in Michigan who noted the state still has a 90-year-old ban on the books if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

Even before the Texas case arrived at the high court, the justices had planned this fall to hear a major case from Mississippi, which wants to enforce an abortion ban after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Here in Michigan, we face an especially dangerous threat. Because we have a pre-Roe law banning abortion on the books, access to abortion in Michigan would be in danger if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade," Dr. Sarah Wallett, chief medical officer for Planned Parenthood of Michigan, said in a statement.

It is unclear whether the 1931 law, which dates to the 1800s, automatically would take effect if the landmark 1973 U.S. Supreme Court precedent were overturned. The law makes it a felony to use an instrument or administer any substance with the intent "to procure the miscarriage" of a woman unless necessary to preserve her life.

Genevieve Marnon, legislative director for Right to Life of Michigan, said: "When Roe is overturned, Michigan will be an abortion-free state, and we are hopeful that will take place next year after the (Mississippi) case is heard." She said it would not make sense to mirror Texas’ law in Michigan because it still allows abortions until medical professionals can detect cardiac activity, usually around six weeks.

Courtesy of the Associated press

What else we're watching

  1. Arts Beats & Eats is returning to Royal Oak this weekend. There's a whole slew of fun and entertainment to enjoy like live music, art vendors, and of course food. See our guide to the festival here.
  2. But it's not just a weekend for celebration. College football is also returning. Both Michigan and Michigan State University will be in action against Western Michigan and Northwestern respectively.
  3. The Metropark's new public transit system kicks off this weekend, which makes travel to one of the region's parks - the Lake St. Clair Metropark - cheap, easy, and convenient. Learn more here
  4. A $201,000 lottery ticket that went unclaimed for a year has expired. The Michigan Lottery said the ticket had been sold at a location east of Ann Arbor. 
  5. Taylor North, the Little League World Series champions were honored during a victory parade Thursday afternoon. 

Live on FOX 2

Daily Forecast

The temperatures keep finding a slightly lower low at night and it looks to be similar again this weekend. Saturday expects to be cloudy with a chance of rain at night, while Sunday will be a mixture of clouds and sun. Holiday travelers should be excited.

McDonald’s unreliable ice cream machines reportedly under FTC investigation

The United States Federal Trade Commission is taking McDonald’s ice cream machines constantly breaking seriously.

The FTC reached out to McDonald’s this summer in regards to the franchise’s constant problems with broken ice cream machines and the overly complicated methods implemented to get them fixed, according to the Wall Street Journal. 

While many people now laugh at the well-known notion that McDonald’s ice cream machines are constantly broken, franchise owners don’t find it so funny.

The WSJ reported that McDonald’s ice cream products account for 60% of the franchise’s revenue.